Del. election officials report low in person voter turnout


SUSSEX COUNTY, Del. – In Sussex County, people turned out to cast their votes in person. But election officials say that this year they saw significantly lower voter counts at the polls. One official even said that it was the lowest turn out he’d seen in almost a decade. “We expect a big turnout of course for the general. But this election has been fairly light,” said Election Judge Phil Suchanek.

Primary election day in Delaware wrapped up with the polls closing at 8 o’clock in Sussex County. Suchanek says the big focus was on making sure that in-person voters were staying safe while casting their ballots. “The machines are wiped down. Every time somebody goes through, even the pens we will wipe them down each time, and everybody’s very, very careful,” said Suchanek.

Suchanek says that even if voters weren’t sure about the status of their mail-in ballots – they were able to come to the poll and check on it. “If they have received a request for a write in, they go to a help table, which on the computer checks to make sure that the write in vote has not gone in,” said Suchanek.

Meanwhile in Georgetown, election officials also saw low numbers for in-person voter turnout. “Less than half of that was in person voting. Most of that was by mail,” said Sussex County Department of Elections Director Bo McDowell.

McDowell tells 47ABC that safety was also a top priority for polling sites in Georgetown. “We’re following the same protocols as all the state agencies. So we’re wearing masks. If you can’t wear a mask we’re wearing face shields. We’re using alcohol sprays and wipes on the machines for anybody who’s touching,” said McDowell.

McDowell tells 47ABC that the largest demographic of in-person voters were between the ages of 55 years old and 74 years old. “Obviously the older generation did vote more. You had starting at 55 years of age you see a pretty big uptake. But then the 65 year olds to 74 year old range you saw a huge spike,” said McDowell.

McDowell says that polling sites hosted about 1,800 and 2,000 per hour. Overall, polling ended with 25,621 in person votes for all of Sussex County. Sussex County Department of Elections Director Bo McDowell says that it will be a little while before results for mail in ballots will be available. That’s because they need to make sure all the ballots are in – and count them.

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